Interview

Following 5.5 million downloads of Slice It!, Com2uS' Don Lim says Android is becoming a 'free plus' market

Waiting on Amazon Appstore maturity

Following 5.5 million downloads of Slice It!, Com2uS' Don Lim says Android is becoming a 'free plus' market
Despite its successful core portfolio of RPGs and baseball games, Korean mobile publisher Com2uS is looking to expand into new genres and more casual types of gameplay.

The first example of this strategy is Slice It!, which since its release in August 2010 has gone onto sell 1.2 million units on iOS, doing another 3.3 million of the lite version.

Equally impressive however has been the game's performance on Android.

Since its release on GetJar and the Android Market at the end of 2010 - only available as a free version - it's done a further 5.5 million downloads, bringing its total to 10 million.

We caught up with Don Lim, general manager of Com2uS' USA office, to find out more about the company's future strategy for Android. 

PocketGamer: Are you surprised the Android version of Slice It! has been more popular on Android than iOS?

Don Lim: Actually, this was inline with what we hoped. The free version for the Android is a full version with in-game ads, so we were expecting Android free downloads might be higher than the lite version on iOS.

Do you think Android is becoming a good platform for monetisation?

The free market on Android is huge as Android users are already familiar with free content. Now we're playing around with monetisation, to see how Android users respond. Clearly, the market is moving to a 'free plus' monetisation market; something we've seen with the addition of in-app billing to Android's API.

What's more important is designing games that provide different ways to monetise that give users various options. It will be interesting to see to see how Android users play, compared to the iOS average user, and if there are any differences.

But, above all, we want to deliver fun to users, and see in what ways they will pay for games in this market. We're using our experience and our next releases to see how Android users play.

You've been quick to support the launch of IAP on Android. Do you expect to use this for all your Android releases now?

Com2uS has a long history of designing games with virtual goods. Our games in South Korea have been using in-app virtual goods since 2006, with the launch of Minigame Paradise.

Our thinking is that most games in the future (mobile and otherwise) will have in-app virtual goods, which bring added value to the game, so we will continue this approach for Android releases.

Why haven't you used the Amazon Appstore for Android yet?

As Amazon has great knowledge of online retail, it seems like its Appstore will play a huge role in the Android ecosystem. The store front looks good and the recommendations and promotions seem promising for developers. And with games such as Angry Birds Rio being offered for free, we're excited to watch its growth.

Yet the most significant Android market as of now is Google's Android Market. Com2uS is releasing 31 games in 2011 and our plans currently are to concentrate on the Google Android market, and wait for the Amazon Appstore to mature a bit more.

Thanks to Don for his time.
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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